The State government intends to hand over the management of the iconic Lalitha Mahal hotel in the city to reposition it as a world-class luxury hotel and shore up its value among niche tourists.
This is also expected to give a boost to the arrival of tourists in the luxury segment, which will have economic spin-off benefits for the sector.
Sources in the government told The Hindu that a Request for Proposal (RFQ) was floated last year, but no action was initiated because of the pandemic. Now, with certain changes in the norms, the RFQ will be reissued and global tenders will be floated to bring the best in the hotel industry to manage Lalitha Mahal, which will soon celebrate its centenary.
A senior official said that the final approval of government was awaited. The hotel is currently being operated by Jungle Lodges and Resorts (JLR), but sources said that though JLR can operate Lalitha Mahal, it may be difficult to reposition it as a luxury brand. We are in the business of eco-tourism and have positioned JLR as the best in the country in this segment. But to operate a five-star hotel, there are others with a history of managing such properties and it would be prudent to let them operate and bring value to it, the official said.
Dismissing reports that the hotel has already been handed over to a particular group, the official said tenders were yet to be invited. Lalitha Mahal is ensconced at the foot of Chamundi Hills with a large open space. It has 52 rooms which are airy and spacious and is among the most beautiful heritage properties in Karnataka. Hence, it is bound to attract the best hoteliers in the business to operate and reposition it among the best hotels in the country, the official opined.